He supposed that the ships, once past this point, emerged into the seas of southern Asia. Professor of Geography, University of Rome, 1915–59. Vespucci's findings have been lost but Capponi returned to Florence around this time and Berardi took over the Medici business in Seville. There are also difficulties with the reported dates and details in the account of this voyage. Humboldt also called into question the assertion that Vespucci recognized that he had encountered a new continent. [12] Two of these letters were published during his lifetime and received widespread attention throughout Europe. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. As a boy Vespucci was given a humanistic education by his uncle Giorgio Antonio. It is unknown whether Vespucci was ever aware of these honours. On the way back he reached Trinidad, sighted the mouth of the Orinoco River, and then made for Haiti. In 1495, Berardi signed a contract with the crown to send 12 resupply ships to Hispaniola but then died unexpectedly in December without completing the terms of the contract. Before crossing the Atlantic they resupplied at Cape Verde where they encountered Cabral on his way home from his voyage to India. In 1505, he was made a citizen of Castile by royal decree and in 1508, he was appointed to the newly created position of chief navigator for Spain's Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) in Seville, a post he held until his death in 1512. The recent voyage of Columbusand others generated much interest in the nation as people wondered how man would reach the fabled Indies via a westward direction. As soon as he was back in Spain, he equipped a fresh expedition with the aim of reaching the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of the Ganges (modern Bay of Bengal), and the island of Taprobane or Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer – Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence (Italian city, located in Tuscany) on March 9th, 1454 and died in Seville (capital of the province of Seville and the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain) on February 22nd, 1512 at the age of 57. Facts about Amerigo Vespucci 10: death. In the following years, other maps were printed that often incorporated the name America. He requested to be buried in a Franciscan habit in his wife's family tomb. America Named After Amerigo . Both publications were extremely popular and widely read across much of Europe. The voyage of 1501–02 is of fundamental importance in the history of geographic discovery in that Vespucci himself, and scholars as well, became convinced that the newly discovered lands were not part of Asia but a “New World.” In 1507 a humanist, Martin Waldseemüller, reprinted at Saint-Dié in Lorraine the “Quattuor Americi navigationes” (“Four Voyages of Amerigo”), preceded by a pamphlet of his own entitled “Cosmographiae introductio,” and he suggested that the newly discovered world be named “ab Americo Inventore…quasi Americi terram sive Americam” (“from Amerigo the discoverer…as if it were the land of Americus or America”). How many voyages did he make? For information concerning him, see Harrisse, "The Discovery of … He was educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antionia Vespucci, who was a friar belonging to the Dominical Order in San Marco, Florence. Barardi invested half a million "maravedis" in Columbus's first voyage, and he won a potentially lucrative contract to provision Columbus's large second fleet. The evidence relies almost entirely on a handful of letters attributed to him. He died of malaria on February 22, 1512 at his home in Seville, Spain. In March 1508, he was named chief pilot for the "Casa de Contratación" or House of Commerce which served as a central trading house for Spain's overseas possessions. [20], In 1501, Manuel I of Portugal commissioned an expedition to investigate a landmass encountered unexpectedly by Pedro Álvares Cabral on his voyage to India. [5], Amerigo's two older brothers, Antonio and Girolamo, were sent to the University of Pisa for their education; Antonio followed his father to become a notary, while Girolamo entered the Church and joined the Knights Templar in Rhodes. At the end of 1491 their agent, Giannotto Berardi, appears to have been engaged partly in fitting out ships; and Vespucci was probably present when Christopher Columbus returned from his first expedition, which Berardi had assisted. The map was widely used in universities and was influential among cartographers who admired the craftsmanship that went into its creation. From there the fleet split up: Ojeda proceeded northwest toward modern Venezuela, while two ships headed south with Vespucci aboard. His father, Ser Nastagio, was a Florentine Notary. [4][6], In 1488, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco became dissatisfied with his Seville business agent, Tomasso Capponi. The name for the Americas is derived from his given name. Samuel Morison (1974) flatly rejected the first voyage but was noncommittal about the two published letters. The continents of North and South America are named after him. He denied Vespucci's authorship of the 1503 "Mundus Novus" and the 1505 "Soderini Letter", the only two texts published during his lifetime. America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who set forth the then revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent. Because our ancestors had no knowledge of them, and it will be a matter wholly new to all those who hear about them, for this transcends the view held by our ancients, inasmuch as most of them hold that there is no continent to the south beyond the equator, but only the sea which they named the Atlantic and if some of them did aver that a continent there was, they denied with abundant argument that it was a habitable land. From his extensive explorations, he also claimed that the discovered lands were composed of a distinct landmass and that the E… Led by Walter Lud, the academy included Matthias Ringmann and Martin Waldseemüller. Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. The remainder of the voyage is disputed, but Vespucci claimed to have continued southward, and he may have sighted (January 1502) Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro’s bay) and sailed as far as the Río de la Plata, making Vespucci the first European to discover that estuary (Juan Díaz de Solís arrived there in 1516). Facts about Amerigo Vespucci 9: Martin Waldseemuller. There is evidence that a voyage was led by Coelho at about this time but no independent confirmation that Vespucci took part. As a young man, he was fascinated with books and maps. On 17 August 1501 they reached Brazil at a latitude of about 6° south. Forced to turn around, the ships headed north, retracing their course to the original landfall. From there Vespucci continued up the South American coast to the Gulf of Paria and along the shore of what is now Venezuela. Within a short span of time, the maps started becoming popular along with stories written by Vespucci chronicling his explorations. The Soderini Letter gave Vespucci credit for discovery of this new continent and implied that the Portuguese map was based on his explorations. Other modern historians and popular writers have taken varying positions on Vespucci's letters and voyages, espousing two, three, or four voyages and supporting or denying the authenticity of his two printed letters. The question is fundamental for the evaluation of Vespucci’s work and has given rise to fierce controversy; attempts to reconcile the two series of documents cannot generally be considered successful. On the upper part of the map, with the hemisphere comprising the Old World, appears the picture of Ptolemy; on the part of the map with the New World hemisphere is the picture of Vespucci. Martin Waldseemüller, Franz Wieser (Ritter von), Edward Burke (trans), This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 19:30. Naturalized Castilian in the year 1505, he dedicated himself to commerce in Spain in the 15th century and was hired by the Medicis who were a powerful and wealthy family of the time. Vespucci, who had obtained Spanish citizenship, held this position until his death. He was one of the more colorful characters of the early age of discovery in the Americas and captained one of the first journeys to the New World. Amerigo Vespucci was born and raised in Florence on the Italian Peninsula. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Along the way they had business in Bologna, Milan, and Lyon. Simonetta Vespucci (née Cattaneo; 1453 – 26 April 1476), nicknamed la bella Simonetta, was an Italian noblewoman from Genoa, the wife of Marco Vespucci of Florence and the cousin-in-law of Amerigo Vespucci. [4] Amerigo's career path seemed less certain; instead of following his brothers to the university, he remained in Florence and was tutored by his uncle, Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican friar in the monastery of San Marco. He is famous for being the first explorer to argue out that Brazil and West Indies were not in Eastern Asia. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Magnaghi determined that the manuscript letters were authentic and based on them he was the first to propose that only the second and third voyages were true, and the first and fourth voyages (only found in the Soderini letter) were fabrications. The Vespuccis were a prominent family and friends with the powerful Medicis, who ruled Italy for more than 300 years. 11358913, citing Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave . It is believed that he was the first to discover the mouth of the Amazon River. Under Portuguese auspices Vespucci completed a second expedition, which set off from Lisbon on May 13, 1501. On the contrary, the king was likely interested in learning about the possibility of a western passage to India. He was paid an annual salary of 50,000 "maravedis" with an extra 25,000 for expenses. The name for the Americas is derived from his given name. His reputation as an explorer and navigator continued to grow and his recent service in Portugal did not seem to damage his standing with King Ferdinand. In a preface to the Letter, Ringmann wrote, I see no reason why anyone could properly disapprove of a name derived from that of Amerigo, the discoverer, a man of sagacious genius. Amerigo did not go to elementary, middle, or high school. But the Spanish government did not welcome his proposals, and at the end of 1500 Vespucci went into the service of Portugal. Cause of death: unspecified. Later, Bartolomé de las Casas argued that Vespucci was a liar and stole the credit that was due Columbus. Florence, Italy. Amerigo Vespucci, (born 1454?, Florence, Italy—died 1512, Sevilla, Spain), merchant and explorer-navigator who took part in early voyages to the New World (1499–1500, 1501–02) and occupied the influential post of piloto mayor (“master navigator”) in Sevilla (1508–12). He left most of his modest estate, including five household slaves, to his wife. [14] Others point to the inconsistencies in the narrative of the voyage, particularly the alleged course, starting near Honduras and proceeding northwest for 870 leagues (about 5,130 km or 3,190 mi)–a course that would have taken them across Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Vespucci was born on 9 March 1454, in Florence, a wealthy Italian city-state and a center of Renaissance art and learning. [37], The Introduction and map were a great success and four editions were printed in the first year alone. Rico was born in Brooklyn, New York. (This is the second expedition of the traditional series.) Amerigo Vespucci was born in about 1451 in Florence, Italy. After Hispaniola they made a brief slave raid in the Bahamas, capturing 232 natives, and then returned to Spain. He was 57 years old; the cause of death remained unknown. [9][10], Sometime after he settled in Seville, Vespucci married a Spanish woman, Maria Cerezo. They suggest that they were fabrications based in part on genuine Vespucci letters. Not much is known about his personal life other than the fact that he was married to a woman called Maria Cerezo. He continued his work as a chandler, supplying ships bound for the Indies. Felipe Fernández-Armesto (2007) calls the authenticity question "inconclusive", and hypothesizes that the first voyage was probably another version of the second; the third is unassailable, and the fourth is probably true.[47]. He suggested that the Soderini letter was not written by Vespucci, but was cobbled together by unscrupulous Florentine publishers who combined several accounts – some from Vespucci, others from elsewhere. Although historians still dispute the authorship and veracity of these accounts, at the time they were instrumental in raising awareness of the new discoveries and enhancing the reputation of Vespucci as an explorer and navigator. In 1503 or 1504 he claimed – or somebody using his name did – that in 1497 he had sailed to the mainland of the New World, before Columbus, and discovered Brazil. Remains: Buried, Abbazia Di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy. He used the name America on the map in 1507. [5], In 1478, Guido Antonio Vespucci led a Florentine diplomatic mission to Paris and invited his younger cousin, Amerigo Vespucci, to join him. Vespucci had meanwhile succeeded Berardi on the latter’s death in 1495 and at some point he started to go adventuring himself. However most historians now believe that he was unaware of Waldseemüller's map before his death in 1512 and many assert that he was not even the author of the Soderini Letter. He was awarded honorary Spanish citizenship. He was also hired to captain a ship as part of a fleet bound for the "spice islands" but the planned voyage never took place. After being educated by his uncle, Vespucci himself worked for the Medicis as a banker and later supervisor of their ship-outfitting business, which operated in Seville, Spain. Amerigo Vespucci was educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican friar of the monastery of San Marco in … What did Ernest Giles cross in 1875? Although Vespucci subsequently helped to prepare other expeditions, he never again joined one in person. [26][27], From 1505 until his death in 1512, Vespucci remained in service to the Spanish crown. Some writers question the authorship and accuracy of the letter and consider it to be a forgery. Sailing south along the coast they found friendlier natives and were able to engage in some minor trading. Vespucci died on 22 February 1512. He continued to provision ships bound for the West Indies, but his opportunities were diminishing; Columbus's expeditions were not providing the hoped-for profits, and his patron, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco Medici, was using other Florentine agents for his business in Seville. Location of death: Seville, Spain. He was the third son of Ser Nastagio (Anastasio), a Florentine notary, and Lisabetta Mini. According to Humboldt, Vespucci (and Columbus) died in the belief that they had reached the eastern edge of Asia. Coelho left Cape Verde in June and from this point, Vespucci's account is the only surviving record of their explorations. In the early 16th century, he showed that the New World was not part of Asia but was, in fact, its own distinct area. Vespucci's historical importance may rest more with his letters (whether or not he wrote them all) than his discoveries. [44], Vespucci has been called "the most enigmatic and controversial figure in early American history. Opinions began to shift somewhat after 1857 when Brazilian historian Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen wrote that everything in the Soderini Letter was true. He very recently moved to Florida 18 months ago and was the happiest he'd been in years and married the love of his life. [19] At some point they may have rejoined Ojeda but the evidence is unclear. A letter, written to Piero Soderini and published in 1504, purports to be an account by Vespucci of a voyage to the New World, leaving Spain on 10 May 1497 and returning in October 1498. He was also charged with compiling a "model map" based on input from pilots who were obligated to share what they learned after each voyage. While Magnaghi has been one of the chief proponents of a two-voyage narrative, Roberto Levellier was an influential Argentinian historian who endorsed the authenticity of all Vespucci's letters and proposed the most extensive itinerary for his four voyages.[46]. The king wanted to know the extent of this new discovery and determine where it lay in relation to the line established by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The evidence for Vespucci's voyages of exploration consists almost entirely of a handful of letters written by him or attributed to him. Years later, Ojeda recalled that "Morigo Vespuche" was one of his pilots on the expedition. In 1924, Alberto Magnaghi published the results of his exhaustive review of Vespucci's writings and relevant cartography. He also had to prepare the official map of newly discovered lands and of the routes to them (for the royal survey), interpreting and coordinating all data that the captains were obliged to furnish. On returning, Vespucci entered the “bank” of Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici and gained the confidence of his employers. “America” is a feminine Latin term for his surname Amerigo. In the voyage of 1499–1500 Vespucci would seem to have left Ojeda after reaching the coast of what is now Guyana. Yet, despite the possibly deceptive claims made by him or advanced on his behalf, he was a genuine pioneer of Atlantic exploration and a vivid contributor to the early travel literature of the New World. He assumed they were on the coast of Asia and hoped by heading south they would, according to the Greek geographer Ptolemy, round the unidentified "Cape of Cattigara" and reach the Indian Ocean. The first series consists of a letter in the name of Vespucci from Lisbon, Portugal, dated September 4, 1504, written in Italian, perhaps to the gonfalonier (magistrate of a medieval Italian republic) Piero Soderini, and printed in Florence in 1505; and of two Latin versions of this letter, printed under the titles of “Quattuor Americi navigationes” and “Mundus Novus,” or “Epistola Alberici de Novo Mundo.” The second series consists of three private letters addressed to the Medici. It was decorated with prominent portraits of Ptolemy and Vespucci and, for the first time, the name America was applied to a map of the New World. Updates? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In 1492, he was sent to Spain to manage his employer's banking and investment interests. France and Easton, the 1507 Waldseemüller Map in the Library of Congress, Online Galleries, History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Amerigo_Vespucci&oldid=983020103, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [7][8], Vespucci was the executor of Berardi's will, collecting debts and paying outstanding obligations for the firm. Many historians have analysed these documents and have arrived at contradictory conclusions. Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454–February 22, 1512) was an Italian explorer and cartographer. [39], Knowledge of Vespucci's voyages relies almost entirely on a handful of letters written by him or attributed to him. He dispatched Vespucci to investigate the situation and provide an assessment of a suggested replacement, Florentine merchant Gianotto Berardi. According to Vespucci: Concerning my return from those new regions which we found and explored...we may rightly call a new world. Von Humboldt after careful consideration asserted the 1497 voyage was impossible but accepted the two Portuguese-sponsored voyages 4 2019! Success and four editions were printed that often incorporated the name America is evidence that a voyage led! Asia have received women 's names from Vespucci himself after Hispaniola they made a brief slave raid in the of. Is about the explorer and ship chandlery you are agreeing to news, offers, and.! 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